Russia has every right to take steps to protect its vital national interests in the Ukraine, notably its naval base in the Crimea.
Russia also has the right, as well as the moral duty, to ensure the safety and well-being of the ethnic Russian citizens of its neighbouring state, an associate member of the CIS, in the event of that failing state proving unequal to the task.
The United States and other NATO and EU member countries, including Britain, have no right to bully Russia by crude sabre-rattling and threats of trade sanctions of the kind that we have seen in recent days.
Economic sanctions against Russia by the West would in any case be a double-edged sword and would harm those who attempted to impose them as much as Russia. Germany is heavily dependent upon Russian oil and gas supplies since its sources of renewable energy are inadequate and unreliable, a fact which its ‘Ironing Chancellor’ would do well to remember.
Furthermore, if military intervention by any ostensibly democratic state or states were to be undertaken, then such intervention should be in favour of restoring the democratically elected government of the Ukraine, which has been illegally overthrown by what amounts to a coup d’etat.
Is democracy only to be respected when the result goes in one’s own favour? Because that is the message of the insurrectionists who forced the President of the Ukraine to flee. And that is the creed of the shadowy forces which helped to destabilize the country, just as they earlier destabilized Libya and Syria, in defiance of international law.
A peace conference should be held in Moscow between the heads of government of Russia, the Ukraine, Belarus and Poland and representatives of the leading insurrectionary groups. This surely is something upon which the UN Security Council could reach an agreement.
A second Crimean War would be, unlike the first, a crime.